I am informed as follows:
Health Canada: Canada Health Infoway Inc. is an independent not for profit corporation which was established under the Canada Corporations Act, part II. It was not established by Health Canada and the Department of Finance as stated in the written question, Q-159.
Section 3 of the act respecting the provision of increased funding for health care services, medical equipment, health information and communications technologies, early childhood development and other social services and to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, C-45, October 2000, authorized the Minister of Finance to make a direct payment, for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2000, to a corporation, to be named by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, for the purpose of defining standards governing shared data to ensure the compatibility of health information networks. The corporation that was recommended and named by order of the Governor in Council was Canada Health Infoway Inc.
Most of the questions posed relate to the internal business decisions of Canada Health Infoway Inc., which is a corporation independent of government. Questions relating to the Department of Finance [h) (ii) and (iii)] should be directed to the Department of Finance.
The question (g) asks whether Canada Health Infoway Inc. is required to follow government contracts regulations and the Treasury Board Secretariat’s contracting policy. As the corporation is not a part of the Government of Canada, these regulations and policy do not apply to it.
Regarding question (h), Health Canada did not let any contracts respecting Canada Health Infoway Inc. to Heenan Blaikie LLP between September 1, 2000, and March 31, 2001.
With regard to question (h) (i), Health Canada let a contract to Columbia Communications on Jan. 29, 2001, to develop a communications strategy for the announcement of a federal, provincial and territorial resolution on the protection of personal health information and the Canada Health Infoway Inc. launch, in recognition that protecting personal information is critical to having an accepted and effective electronic health record solution. The process followed was non-competitive as the contract was less than $25,000, the value was $24,877, and the contractor possessed the knowledge and networks to effectively complete the work for the most value.
Finance Canada: No contracts were awarded by the Department of Finance to Heenan Blaikie LLP or Columbia Communications during the specified period.